Summer Foot Care - Plantar Warts & How To Avoid & Treat
Summer is just around the corner, and we switch from wearing toe shoes to sandals, allowing our feet to go on display. Happy and healthy feet are crucial for enjoying the summer season. Your feet may need extra attention if you participate in swimming, water sports, or outdoor activities. And if you are one of those who develop warts on their feet, there are wart treatment options!
What is a plantar wart?
Yet another type of wart caused by the highly contagious wart agent is the painful plantar wart. Particular strains cause plantar warts numbered 1, 2, and 4, meaning they were the first of the warts family to be identified, named, and numbered. Each person's immune system responds differently to the wart agent, so not everyone who comes in contact with the wart agents develops warts. Even people in the same family react to the wart agents differently. And with summer just around the corner in the northern hemisphere, you or your children are more likely to pick up these wart agents and the following discomfort and pain.
Nevertheless, for a healthier all round adult or child, it is wise to boost your immune system to protect you from viruses and germs. Although the strains that cause plantar warts are not easily transmitted by direct contact from one person to another, the agent does thrive in warm, moist environments — such as shower floors, locker rooms, and public swimming areas. So it is always safer not to walk barefoot in such places.
“The highly contagious wart agents must have a point of entry into the skin to infect the body.”
How does a plantar wart develop?
Plantar warts are caused by infection with contagious wart agents. The wart agent enters the body through tiny cuts, breaks, or other weak spots on the bottom of the foot. This type of wart typically develops when the agent comes into contact with the skin on the sole of the foot, and the wart can spread from person to person or by contact with a surface contaminated with warts.
- Cracks in dry skin,
- Cuts or scrapes or,
- Wet, softened, fragile skin, particularly from prolonged water exposure.
When there is such direct contact with the wart agent through a point of entry, plantar warts can result, and this strain of wart differs from other warts by growing inwards. There is thickening and damage to your skin, followed by the appearance of plantar warts. Fortunately, these warts are non-cancerous growths that form round areas of rough skin with a dry crusty surface and tiny black dots deep inside, but as they grow, they can become very painful as pressure is applied. Some people believe these little black dots are “roots” or “seeds,” but this is a myth as they are just dried-up capillary blood vessels. It does not take long for a plantar wart to become flattened and painful from the pressure of walking—like walking on a small stone.
How do I know if I have a planters wart on my foot?
If you are unsure whether you have a plantar wart (as they can sometimes be confused with a callus), just squeeze the lesion between your fingers as if pinching. If this action is painful, you can be 100% certain that you have a plantar wart to treat. View our photo gallery of warts.
Plantar warts diagnosis
A physical examination typically diagnoses plantar warts. Your doctor will look at the affected area of your foot and may ask about your symptoms and medical history. In some cases, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
During the physical examination, your doctor may use a device called a dermatoscope to magnify the area and better see the details of the wart. They may also press on the wart to know if it is painful, a common characteristic of plantar warts.
Sometimes, a small piece of the wart may be removed and sent to a laboratory for further testing. This is called a biopsy and can help to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms.
Different options when choosing plantar warts treatment
- Use an over-the-counter salicylic acid preparation available at the pharmacy in liquid, gel, pad, or ointment form. Be sure to follow package directions because over-application of these products can burn the skin. Periodically sand and re-treat the wart. It can take several months to get rid of a large one using these treatments. Warts can spread, so monitor your feet closely and treat warts when they are small. Soak the affected area in warm water for five minutes before applying the salicylic acid. This will enhance the effects of the medication. Remove loose tissue with a brush, washcloth, or emery board, and dry thoroughly. It is also important to file away as much of the overlying callus tissue as possible so that the medication can penetrate the wart properly. The prolonged use of this medication is not recommended, especially in infants, people with diabetes, or others with circulation problems.
- A commercial preparation containing about 17% salicylic acid and 17% lactic acid in a fast-drying solution can be applied daily after showering. Once the preparation is dry, the wart is covered with waterproof tape, which is removed after the next shower or bath. You can pare the wart once a week with a sharp blade (or a family member can do it for you), but it may take many months to clear the wart with this method.
- Duct tape is another treatment approach where any color of duct tape is applied to the wart, which is covered 24 hours a day, six out of seven days a week, for six weeks.
- You can visit your doctor for the plantar wart to be cut out.
- An all-natural plantar warts home remedy such as H-Warts Formula is available online to treat your plant warts safely and successfully at home. The surface of the plantar wart is treated, and the root structure is eliminated, so there is no regrowth, burning, pain, or scarring.
How do I prevent plantar warts?
To prevent plantar warts, it's essential to take the following steps:
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public places like pool decks, locker rooms, and showers.
- Wear shoes or sandals in public places.
- Avoid sharing shoes or socks with others.
- Disinfect any cuts or scrapes on your feet to prevent infection.
- Avoid touching other people's warts.
It's also a good idea to inspect your feet regularly for signs of warts, such as small, hard bumps on the soles of your feet, and to seek treatment if you notice any. This can help to prevent warts from spreading.
For extra comfort
Although plantar warts are considered noncancerous growths, in rare instances, if left for years and years, plantar warts could become malignant. While applying a plantar warts treatment, you might like to use a special pad or doughnut-shaped piece of moleskin around the wart, available from a drugstore, to relieve any pressure and pain from the wart. This is particularly useful for children who still want to run around, play sports, and live their everyday life despite the plantar wart under their feet.
For many reasons, it is best to carry out that plantar warts treatment as quickly as possible.